Influential Imperial Women of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty


Kelly Macquire
by and
published on 11 July 2023

There were many famous women in Rome’s history from the early Kingdom of Rome through the Roman Republic but among the best known are those of the Roman Empire and, among these, the women of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty - the first dynasty of the empire. The Roman Empire was founded by Augustus Caesar in 27 BCE who also established this dynasty defined by the reign of Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero between 27 BCE and 68 CE. Many women played influential roles during this era but we will address three of the best-known here: Livia Drusilla, Valeria Messalina, and Agrippina the Younger.

The Julio-Claudian dynasty is the collective name given to the first five emperors of the ancient Roman Empire. The name of the dynasty derives from the names of the two families from which its members came: the Julii Caesares and Claudii Nerones. Beginning with Rome's first Emperor and ending with the most infamous, the period they reigned covers 27 BCE to 68 CE.



0:00​ Introduction
0:53 The Julio-Claudian Dynasty
1:40 Livia Drusilla
5:13 Valeria Messalina
7:46 Agrippina the Younger
11:34 Outro

The Role of Women in the Roman World
Agrippina the Younger
Valeria Messalina
Livia Drusilla

Ancient Rome Playlist
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The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire
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An Introduction to Ancient Roman Literature

You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here -

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

World History Encyclopedia

#history #ancientrome #romanhistory #womenhistory

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2023, July 11). Influential Imperial Women of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Influential Imperial Women of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified July 11, 2023.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Influential Imperial Women of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 11 Jul 2023. Web. 24 May 2024.